With the 31st installment of The Biggest Party of the Summer just around the corner, join us as we take a look back at the history of SummerSlam. The ups, the downs, the moments, the stars, and the first SummerSlam of the new millennium!
Raleigh Entertainment and Sports Arena
Raleigh, North Carolina
The Rock vs Triple H vs Kurt Angle for the WWF Championship
Surprisingly enough, the build around this triple threat match for the WWF Championship was centered around the two challengers – the champion, The Rock, just pretty much seemed to “be there as well.” Everything was about the apparent love triangle between Triple H, his wife Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley and Kurt Angle.
The match went as you thought it would with these three Hall of Famers – solid from start to finish. In the end, the soap opera storyline created by Angle and The Game proved to be too much of a distraction as The Rock would come out on top and retain his WWF Championship.
TME TO GRAB SOME SNACKS
This may sound weird to say, but feel free to take a little break for the Kane vs Undertaker match. Yes this was the first SummerSlam with The Undertaker’s American Bad-Ass persona (I know it gets a bad rap, but it was an incredible gimmick when The Dead Man made the change), but you deserve a break, and this SummerSlam didn’t really give you too much of a chance. Besides, it’s Kane vs The Undertaker – you’ve seen it before and you’ll see it again…a lot! This was one of the forgetful chapters in what was arguably the best told story in WWE.
GLIMPSE INTO THE FUTURE
Shane McMahon was in the process of proving that he was “one of the boys” and not just the boss’ son. He would take a giant step towards achieving that this night. McMahon found himself in a Hardcore Championship match against Steve Blackmon. McMahon would play the cowardly heel to a T as he would spend a lot of time just running away scared from Blackmon.
At the end of the match, the only place that McMahon could hide would be towards the top of the stage. McMahon would climb up the scaffolding, but Blackmon would follow…with a weapon. Shane would take a couple kendo stick shots to the back and wouldn’t be able to hang on to his grip and plummet 40-50 feet to the floor. This would be the first of Shane’s crazy falls…certainly not the last!
MATCH OF THE NIGHT
Tag Team wrestling had been brought back to the forefront thanks to the efforts of three future Hall of Fame teams…Edge & Christian, The Dudley Boys and The Hardy Boys. The three would have a WrestleMania classic with the triangle ladder match a few months before and would up the ante at SummerSlam with the very first TLC match. The TLC match would go on to be a staple in the WWE arsenal so much so that we now have a pay-per-view based on it. It would take up way too much room to go over all of the big spots in the match so just do yourself a favor and give it a watch.
OTHER TOP MATCHES
Jerry Lawler vs Tazz
Chyna and Eddie Guerrero vs Trish Stratus and Val Venis for the Intercontinental Championship (yes, in a tag match)
Chris Jericho in a 2 out of 3 falls match against he who must not be named.
The 2000 SummerSlam more than made up for the dud that 1999 ended up being. We really got a good look at what the next few years of the event would be with so many top names making their SummerSlam debut. This would be the start of a solid run of good to great SummerSlams.
OVERALL SCORE – 8.5/10